THE DYNASTS ACT m
'Tis not amiss. To keep the new year up they run away!
(He soliloquizes as he begins tearing open the dispatches,)
Nor Pitt nor Fox displayed such blundering As glares in this campaign! It is, indeed, Enlarging Folly to Foolhardiness To combat France by land! But how expect Aught that can claim the name of government From Canning, Castlereagh, and Perceval, Caballers all—poor sorry politicians— To whom has fallen the luck of reaping in The harvestings of Pitt's bold husbandry.
He unfolds a dispatch, and looks for something to sit on, A cloak is thrown over a log, and he settles to reading by the firelight. The others stand round The light, crossed by the snow-flakes, flickers on his unhealthy face and stoutening figure. He sinks into the rigidity of profound thought, till his features lour.
So this is their reply! They have done with me!
Britain declines negotiating further—
Flouts France and Russia indiscriminately,
" Since one dethrones and keeps as prisoners
The most legitimate kings "—that means myself—
"The other suffers their unworthy treatment
For sordid interests "—that's for Alexander! . . .
And what is Georgy made to say besides ?—
" Pacific overtures to us are wiles
Woven to unnerve the generous nations round
Lately escaped the galling yoke of France,
Or waiting so to do. Such, then, being seen,
These tentatives must be regarded now
As finally forgone ; and crimson war
Be faced to its fell worst, unflinchingly."
—The devil take their lecture! What am I,
That England should return such insolence ?
He jumps up, furious, and walks to and fro beside the fire. By and by cooling he sits down again.